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Christian Horner insists he has the full support of wife Geri as Red Bull chief speaks for first time since ‘inappropriate behaviour’ accusations… vowing to still be in charge for F1 curtain-raiser


A bruised but unbowed Christian Horner insisted on Thursday he has the full support of former Spice Girl wife, Geri, following accusations of ‘controlling behaviour’ made by a female colleague.

He also stated that he will still be Red Bull team principal when the Formula One season opens in Bahrain on March 2.

Among the most successful figures in the sport’s history, the 50-year-old Englishman conducted a series of media interviews at the team’s car launch in Milton Keynes, amid the biggest crisis of his career. He categorically denies the claims.

Speaking for the first time since the story broke last week, he talked of ‘business as usual’. It is not quite so, of course. This controversy is overshadowing preparations for Red Bull’s upcoming title defence. Yet Horner, whatever else is happening, exhibited bravery in sticking to his planned media engagements (though how would it have looked had he ducked his duties?).

Truth be told, Horner was a little ashen, and not his usual jocular self. He would normally have made a few jokes on launch days like these. He might have commented on someone’s shoes or landed a playful dig in the ribs. Yet, while he was not in the least bit jokey during his lunchtime engagements, he refused to be written off.

Christian Horner insisted on Thursday that he retains the full support of his wife, Geri Halliwell (left)

Christian Horner insisted on Thursday that he retains the full support of his wife, Geri Halliwell (left)

Halliwell and Horner have been married since 2015 and have a son together, born in 2017

Halliwell and Horner have been married since 2015 and have a son together, born in 2017

Horner (right) pictured at the launch of Red Bull's new car in Milton Keynes on Thursday in his first public appearance since the allegations emerged

Horner (right) pictured at the launch of Red Bull’s new car in Milton Keynes on Thursday in his first public appearance since the allegations emerged

The Red Bull chief Christian Horner faced an all-day grilling over allegations of 'improper conduct' on Friday

The Red Bull chief Christian Horner faced an all-day grilling over allegations of ‘improper conduct’ on Friday

Ahead of testing in Bahrain next week, as a precursor to the first race in the Gulf kingdom, he said: ‘I have a very supportive family and a very supportive wife.

‘My focus has been on the job and the season ahead.’

Asked if he would be in Bahrain, he said: ‘Yes.’

There is no timescale for the completion of the inquiry into his alleged behaviour, a process being carried out by an external lawyer, an English KC, whose name has not been divulged. Horner argued his defence to him for eight hours last Friday.

In credit to Red Bull, they held their launch in-person. Ferrari, in contrast, put theirs on Zoom. They also failed to make a virtue of the exhilarating news that they have signed Lewis Hamilton for 2025

Questions were censored and swerved. Signing the seven-time world champion was cause to shout from the rooftops. And Mercedes, even worse, conducted an anaemic virtual launch lasting nine minutes.

Though Horner showed up, the to-and-fro of evidence between accuser and accused means he is advised not to talk about the intricacies of it all for now. 

However, he said: ‘There’s been a day job to be getting on with. I feel the support within the business and our partners, and within the industry. It is overwhelming.

An image of the Red Bull Racing boss laughing with his team at Silverstone appeared online on Tuesday

An image of the Red Bull Racing boss laughing with his team at Silverstone appeared online on Tuesday

The 50-year-old Englishman conducted a series of media interviews at Red Bull’s car launch in Milton Keynes

Horner, pictured with Red Bull's Formula One champion Max Verstappen, strongly denies the claims

Horner, pictured with Red Bull’s Formula One champion Max Verstappen, strongly denies the claims

He said on Thursday that his former Spice Girl wife was 'very supportive' following the claims made against him by a female employee

He said on Thursday that his former Spice Girl wife was ‘very supportive’ following the claims made against him by a female employee

‘There’s a process that’s ongoing at the moment. Some allegations have been made, which I fully deny and I have fully complied with that process and will continue to do so until it’s dealt with.

‘Moments of uncertainty bring us together and I’ve never seen a team more together and supporting than it is.

‘Everybody’s focused on one thing, which is the performance of that car to go out and defend both the world titles that we’ve worked so hard to achieve over the last couple of years.

‘So the car is what everybody is invested in and I look forward to seeing it in action in Bahrain next week.

‘I’m absolutely committed to this team. I’ve been here since the beginning. I’ve built this team. There have been highs and lows along the way.

‘We have won 113 races. Won seven drivers’ world championships. We’ve won six constructors’ world championships. All in 19 seasons and that’s in the history books.

‘But it’s what lies ahead that’s important. So my focus is on the future. It is on Red Bull powertrains becoming a start-up engine business. We have an advanced technology business system producing the first ever Red Bull track car. There’s a lot going on on the campus.

‘I’ve been back to back in the office doing my job.’

Horner (left) is among the most successful figures in the history of Formula One

Horner (left) is among the most successful figures in the history of Formula One

Horner has overseen a huge spell of success for Red Bull, who have won seven drivers' championships under his leadership

Horner has overseen a huge spell of success for Red Bull, who have won seven drivers’ championships under his leadership

Several key Red Bull figures were in Milton Keynes – home to 1500 staff – for the launch, including those from the energy drink company’s HQ in Salzburg, including managing director Oliver Mintzlaff, former chief executive of football club RB Leipzig.

He and Horner spoke for a few moments. Mintzlaff also talked briefly to Max Verstappen, Horner’s star driver who said relations with his team principal were ‘like normal’.

There is some sense in suggestions there is a move in Salzburg to clip Horner’s wings, a plot that has the Austrian contingent going up against Chalerm Yoovidhya, the Thai billionaire-heir to the company (who was not in Milton Keynes on Thursday, but is thought to be a Horner backer).

Whatever the inquiry into Horner will reveal, F1 has a propensity for backbiting viciousness that makes scheming Tory backbenchers look like Anchorite monks. But, for now at least, Horner is refusing to be deposed.



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